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Coin Rolling, What To Do With Your Spare Change

Updated on February 20, 2014

If you are like me, you empty your pockets of spare change every night and store it in a cup, jar, or some other place. As it starts to fill up you may wonder what to do with all those coins. A glass jar worth of coins may be worth a fair amount of money, but you aren't going to want to take it to the grocery store to buy dinner and your local bank may be annoyed to have to sort through it. I typically use an old mug to put my coins in, when it fills up I roll the coins that are in it and start over. If you roll the coins you will get a better idea of how much money you actually have, the coin rolls indicate a specific amount of money for each coin value. With a stack of coin rolls you can quickly tell how much money you have. Let's take a look at some things to consider when rolling your coins.

Getting Started

It used to be that many of the banks would hand out rolls for your coins. It is getting harder and harder to find a bank that will give you free rolls anymore. I usually pick mine up at a local store, such as a Wal-mart. You can usually get bags for mixed coins, quarter, dime, nickel and penny, or bags with just penny rolls. If you have a lot of coins to roll, I would suggest getting one of each. You will most likely need quite a lot of penny rolls compared to the other coins.

Next you will have to decide how you will count the coins. The cheapest method is just to count them, you may even want to double count to make sure you have the right number of coins. To save the double count I often sort my coins into stacks of say, ten, then place them next to each other, if the stacks are the same height, they should have the same number of coins. If you want to speed up your sorting and counting, you could buy a coin sorter. These may be a little more expensive, but will save you a lot of time in the long run, especially if you have a lot of coins to go through.

Rolling The Coins

While you are counting out the coins to roll, make sure you at least pay a little attention to what the coins look like. Sometimes it is easy to let a dirty dime slip in with a batch of dirty pennies. It can also be easy to miss coins that are more valuable or rare. The is especially true of pennies. Now, you may not want to spend the time to really inspect each coin for date, die imperfections and the like, but you can at least pay attention for major differences. For example, I was recently rolling pennies and discovered three "wheat pennies" among my pocket change. I'm not quire sure how they got there, I probably got them as change from somewhere. You can also watch for dimes that were made prior to 1964, those contain a higher percentage of silver and are worth more than just $.10.

Once you have counted out the coins and you are sure that there aren't any valuable coins in the lot, it is time to put them into rolls. Many of the automatic coin counters place the coins in a plastic tube that makes rolling easy, otherwise you will just have to put the coins in by hand. If you are putting them in by hand, only put a few at a time, watching to make sure that they settle flat, if some of the coins go in sideways, they won't all fit in the roll.

What To Do With Your Rolls Of Coins

So now you have most of your change in rolls, what do you do with it? That is up to you! I tend to hang onto my rolls, I currently have about $240 worth of rolled coins sitting around. If you want you can keep them for a rainy day, when you just have to have a little extra cash for an emergency that pops up. Or, maybe you just want to use them for a hobby that you don't usually have extra money for. If you have a hard time saving money, you could use your change to open a savings account and add to it whenever your coin jar fills up.

I have also traded rolls of pennies and nickels for rolls of dollar coins. Dollar coins come in rolls of $25, these rolls take up much less room then their counterparts of smaller coins. With your collection of coins traded in for dollar coins, it will take up much less room, but will be worth just as much. Dollar coins are also more durable than paper money and save the country money in the long run. Check out my Hub explaining why, Dollar Coins- Saving The Government Money?

No matter what you do with your change, remember that all of those pennies or coins that you get will eventually add up. Think about that the next time you pass a penny in a parking lot, you might as well stop and pick it up.


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    • Adventure Colorad profile image

      Adventure Colorad 6 years ago from Denver,CO

      That is an excellent point Joe, due to copper values, pre-1982 pennies are worth more.

    • Joe Macho profile image

      Zach 6 years ago from Colorado

      I like your article. It's also good to note that pre-1982 pennies are worth double their face value and can be rolled separately for some extra money.

    • Adventure Colorad profile image

      Adventure Colorad 6 years ago from Denver,CO

      Thank you for reading, glad you liked it.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Fun article